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Paying for Graduate School

Please find information regarding financial aid for graduate degree programs below, and on the following information page: Federal Student Aid for Graduate and Professional Students.  Students must first apply and be accepted for admission in a degree seeking program before consideration for financial aid will be given.  Not all graduate programs are eligible at this time for federal financial assistance 1. Students that are provisionally admitted into a graduate degree program will have aid awarded up until the provisional allowance of credits have been attempted, and therefore must be fully admitted beyond the allowance of credits on provisional status to continue receiving assistance.

How to apply for assistance:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Be sure to list Carson-Newman’s Title IV code as 003481. Complete the FAFSA at least two months prior to your intended enrollment date.
  • You will receive an electronic notification to your Carson-Newman email account when your award is ready to review and accept or reject through your C-N Connect Account.  If, at the time your award is prepared, you do not have a C-N email or C-N Connect Account, you will be mailed an award letter that you will be required to return with signatures confirming your acceptance or rejection of aid.
  • No aid is automatically renewable; continue to complete the FAFSA each academic year to be considered for aid renewal.  The FAFSA is available beginning January 1st for each new upcoming academic year.

In preparing your award, we have assumed half-time enrollment in graduate courses each semester or module. You should contact us if your enrollment status is more than half-time, so that your award may be adjusted before classes begin. Loans require at least half-time enrollment for disbursement.  Half-time hours vary depending upon the program.  For programs that follow a traditional fall/spring calendar, half-time is at least 5 credit hours.  For programs that follow a module calendar (attending classes each 8 weeks), half-time is considered as one class per module.



Initial Award and Renewal Criteria

 Award Amount Per Year

Federal Work Study* Must file FAFSA and prove demonstrated need with a desire to work on campus part-time by answering yes to FWS interest question on FAFSA. May use toward tuition or indirect cost. More in formation available through our Student Employment page. Estimated earnings of $300 to $2000, based on minimum wage and the number or hours worked. Paid monthly.
Federal Perkins Loan* Must prove demonstrated need. Repayable quarterly beginning nine months after being enrolled less than half-time. Must complete FAFSA. Awarded to high need students. Limited funding. Enroll at least half-time. Amounts vary. Up to $8000 per year of graduate study. Aggregate limit $60,000.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan*2 Repayment of principle begins six months after student falls below half-time enrollment. Requires Master Promissory Note (MPN), Entrance Counseling, and enroll at least half-time.

Up to $20,500*

*Cannot exceed actual cost of attendance, estimated at $16,450 for most programs.

Aggregate limit is $138,500 with no more than $65,500 in subsidized loans from prior borrowing.  The aggregate limit includes all federal loans received from other enrollment such as an undergraduate and/or masters degree(s).

Tennessee Teaching Scholars Program (Forgivable Loan) Junior, Senior or Post-baccalaureate standing. Must be admitted to the Teacher Ed program. Must commit to teach in Tennessee public schools. Must submit separate application by April 15th. Up to $4200 per year for a maximum of four years.
Federal TEACH Grant* Students enrolled in an eligible program meeting  the academic qualifications, who intend to teach in a high-need subject area at schools that serve students from low-income families.  Requires teaching obligation or grant converts to an unsubsidized loan, retroactive with interest. Up to $4,000 per year for full-time enrollment; prorated awards for less than full-time


How to apply for In School Deferment:

  • C-N submits all enrollment information to the National Student Loan Clearinghouse on a regular basis each term to assist with deferment information
  • Students should continue paying on loans while in repayment status until they have confirmed prior loans have been deferred
  • Deferment forms may be mailed to the C-N Registrar's Office for completion as well
  • Information regarding your federal aid history may be obtained through the
  • Be sure to contact your loan servicer to update changes in information and obtain more information, or form:


* Federal Programs are limited to U.S. citizens or permanent residents enrolled in an eligible program making satisfactory progress. In-school deferment status on loans required at least half-time attendance.
1 Graduate certificate programs are currently not eligible for federal financial aid.   If you are enrolling in these programs, you may wish to apply for private alternative loan funding or arrange a payment plan with the Student Accounts.

Effective July 1, 2012 graduate students are no longer eligible for subsidies in the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program.

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